Oil and Gas Majors' Activities with Relation to Climate Change

The timeline provides a non-exhaustive list of articles and news reports capturing activities that international oil companies (ExxonMobil, British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell and Total) have undertaken with respect to climate change and renewable energy investments. This is mapped against key public events and climate change agreements. The timeline also includes shareholder resolutions related to climate change that have been submitted to these companies since the 1970s. The timeline is searchable and results can be filtered by category/company. We hope that the timeline is a useful tool to learn more about corporate approaches of these oil & gas companies towards climate change and investor engagement.

This tool is part of an ongoing research project at the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) that seeks to assess how institutional investors can engage with the fossil fuel industry to move to a decarbonized world economy. For more information on CCSI and this project, please visit www.ccsi.columbia.edu;xNLx;;xNLx;Resolutions compiled from Thomson One, the Securities Exchange Commission and the UK National Storage Mechanism (NSM). Vote tallies compiled from company filings, CERES and public press releases.;xNLx;;xNLx;Carbon Majors image from a study titled “Tracing anthropogenic carbon dioxide and methane emissions to fossil fuel and cement producers, 1854-2010.” Available at: http://carbonmajors.org/;xNLx;;xNLx;This timeline is a living document and we welcome any contributions of news reports or feedback on how this tool could be improved to better serve the relevant stakeholders. Please report any broken links you may encounter. You can contact CCSI at ccsi@law.columbia.edu

Aiming for A Resolution on Climate Change Reporting

The Aiming for A coalition filed a resolution with both BP and Shell titled Strategic resilience for 2035 and Beyond: "given the recognised risks and opportunities associated with climate change, we as shareholders of the Company direct that routine annual reporting from 2016 includes further information about: ongoing operational emissions management; asset portfolio resilience to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) scenarios; low-carbon energy research and development (R&D) and investment strategies; relevant strategic key performance indicators (KPIs) and executive incentives; and public policy positions relating to climate change. This additional ongoing annual reporting could build on the disclosures already made to CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) and/or those already made within the Company’s Energy Outlook, Sustainability Review and Annual Report.” Over 50 institutions co-filed the shareholder resolutions, including eight pension funds with assets of over $15bn: three AP Funds (Sweden), Connecticut (US), Ilmarinen (Finland), Greater Manchester (UK), West Midlands (UK) and West Yorkshire (UK). Shell endorsed the resolution which passed by a landslide 98.9%. First fossil fuel company to support a shareholder resolution requiring CAR reporting. “We view Shell’s decision as a potential turning point in investor engagement with the industry on carbon asset risk,” commented Andrew Logan at CERES.

Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order Climate Change Expert Resolution

Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order as lead filer requested the Board of Directors elect a climate expert to the board. In a letter to shareholders, Tillerson and his colleagues wrote that “to set aside one seat for an environmental specialist or for any single attribute or area of expertise would, in our view, not be in the best interests of the company or its shareholders because it would dilute the breadth needed by all directors to make informed decisions for the company.” and recommended a vote against the proposal. Despite the NO vote recommendation, it won a 21% share.

As You Sow Carbon Asset Risk Resolution

As You Sow as lead filer for group of shareholders including Arjuna Capital and Baldwin Brothers Inc, filed a resolution requesting ExxonMobil to return capital to shareholders rather than break new ground on high-cost high-carbon projects in the face of global climate change. Investors are concerned Exxon Mobil is not preparing for a low demand scenario and that potential and planned capital expenditures on high cost high carbon projects are at risk of eroding shareholder value. Exxon said this scenario is “highly unlikely” stating, “the world will require all the carbon-based energy that ExxonMobil plans to produce during the Outlook period.” According to Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI), 39 percent of Exxon Mobil’s potential capex spend through 2025 requires an oil price of 95 dollar per barrel to be economical, and 17 percent requires a price of 115 dollar per barrel. By the end of 2025, CTI expects high cost projects to represent 35 percent of our Company’s potential future production. The resolution was withdrawn after ExxonMobil agreed to dialogue and commited to assessing the risk of a low carbon scenario.

Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell New Jersey

Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell New Jersey as lead filer, submitted a resolution for the fifth year in a row requesting that the Board of Directors adopt quantitative goals, based on current technologies, for reducing total greenhouse gas emissions from the Company’s products and operations; and that the Company report to shareholders by September 30, 2011, on its plans to achieve these goals. The Board recommended a vote AGAINST this proposal for the following reasons: The Board does not believe that setting absolute emissions goals is the most effective way to manage climate risks; rather, we feel it is essential to apply ExxonMobil’s technical and management capabilities to meet growing demand for energy efficiently and to pursue technical solutions to address greenhouse gas emissions. Even after assuming significant improvements in energy efficiency and strong future global policy intervention, projections for global energy needs, for example from the International Energy Agency, indicate that demand for petroleum and natural gas will continue to increase for decades. Because it requires energy to produce and process oil and gas, meeting rising demand will lead to increases in emissions both from industrial operations and end use by customers. Effective goals for greenhouse gas emissions would need to reflect the coincident impact of largely unforeseeable factors that influence year-to-year market demand, including macro-economic issues, weather, political tensions, and responses by national oil companies. Goals that depend on this many variables would be impractical for guiding business performance. The resolution won a large 26.5% of votes (consistent with prior years) despite Exxon recommending a NO vote.

Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell New Jersey

Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell New Jersey for the 6th year in a row filed a resolution requesting that the Board of Directors adopt quantitative goals, based on current technologies, for reducing total greenhouse gas emissions from the Company’s products and operations; and that the Company report to shareholders by November 30, 2012, on its plans to achieve these goals. ExxonMobil recommended a NO vote, stating that the Board does not believe that setting absolute goals is the most effective way to manage climate risks, continued global demand for energy, and linked demand for petroleum and natural gas to development, "supporting improved living standards for people around the world." The resolution won a large 27.1% share of votes (consistent with prior years) despite Exxon recommending to vote against the resolution.

Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell NJ GHG Emissions Resolution

Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell New Jersey as lead filer for the 9th year in a row, filed a resolution requesting the Board of Directors adopt quantitative goals for reducing total greenhouse gas emissions and report to shareholders by November 30, 2015, on its plans to achieve these goals. They noted that "Nearly 90% of ExxonMobil’s GHG emissions are associated with the combustion of its products. A strategy to manage climate risk that does not limit GHG emissions from its products is incomplete" The resolution won a reduced 9.6% of the vote vs prior years. Again, Exxon recommended against supporting the resolution

Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell NJ GHG Emissions Resolution

Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell New Jersey as lead filer, submitted a resolution for the fourth year in a row requesting that the Board of Directors adopt quantitative goals, based on current technologies, for reducing total GHG emissions from the Company's products and operations; and that the Company report to shareholders by September 30, 2010 on its plan to achieve these goals. The resolution won a large 27.2% of votes (29% in 2009) despite Exxon recommending a vote against: "The Company’s approach to greenhouse gas emissions reductions is workable, sustainable, and effective; it would not be enhanced by the publication of a goal such as has been suggested here. Therefore, the Board does not support this proposal"

Aiming for A Resolution on Climate Change Reporting

The Aiming for A coalition filed a resolution with both BP and Shell titled Strategic resilience for 2035 and Beyond: "given the recognised risks and opportunities associated with climate change, we as shareholders of the Company direct that routine annual reporting from 2016 includes further information about: ongoing operational emissions management; asset portfolio resilience to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) scenarios; low-carbon energy research and development (R&D) and investment strategies; relevant strategic key performance indicators (KPIs) and executive incentives; and public policy positions relating to climate change. This additional ongoing annual reporting could build on the disclosures already made to CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) and/or those already made within the Company’s Energy Outlook, Sustainability Review and Annual Report.” Over 50 institutions co-filed the shareholder resolutions, including eight pension funds with assets of over $15bn: three AP Funds (Sweden), Connecticut (US), Ilmarinen (Finland), Greater Manchester (UK), West Midlands (UK) and West Yorkshire (UK). The vote was supported by the Board who recommended a YES vote in support of the resolution. It passed by a landslide 98.28%. As a result, BP agreed to additional transparency around operational emissions management, asset portfolio resilience against 2035 scenarios, low carbon energy R&D and investment, executive incentivisation during the low carbon transition, and public policy activity relating to climate change.

Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell NJ GHG Emissions Resolution

"Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell New Jersey as lead, for the 8th year in a row, filed a resolution requesting the Board of Directors adopt quantitative goals for reducing total greenhouse gas emissions and report to shareholders by November 30, 2014, on its plans to achieve these goals. They noted that ""Mounting scientific, social, and financial evidence demonstrates the urgency to establish and meet specific, measurable, and sustainable goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions"" including a NOAA report that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) at 400 parts per million (ppm), well above the 350 ppm level to which scientists believe we must return. This tipping point is reflected in severe weather events including typhoons, heat waves, and hurricanes, creating a profound obligation for all GHG producers – especially those within the oil and gas industry – to reduce emissions in their operations and products"" and the need to limiting global warming to below 2°C"". The resolution won a large 22% of the vote despite Exxon recommending to vote NO. "

Ms. Neva Rockefeller Goodwin NY Climate Change Planning Assumptions Resolution

Ms. Neva Rockefeller Goodwin, New York, as lead proponent of a filing group, filed a resolution requesting the Board of ExxonMobil to consider in its strategic planning process the risk that demand for fossil fuels in the next 20 years could be significantly lower than ExxonMobil has projected, and report to shareholders no later than November 30, 2010, on how such demand reduction would affect ExxonMobil’s long-term strategic plan. Exxon recommended vote against. noting that oil will remain the largest energy source through 2030. The resolution won 7.8% share of the vote.

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